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What is a CBCT?

What is a cone beam CT?

Cone beam CT (or CBCT) has been a game-changer for dentistry.  Traditional dental x-rays are two dimensional, but a CBCT gives the dentist a 3-D view of the patient’s important dental structures.  This added information helps the After Orthodontics™ team deliver better and safer care.  We know exactly where nerves, bone, and teeth are located, and how to get you the best results possible.  Not every dentist has a CBCT because not every procedure requires advanced imaging.  However, orthodontists and surgeons often use advanced imaging.  CBCT is becoming a standard of care for many of the procedures we offer because the additional details significantly improve patient safety.


Is a CBCT safe?

It’s a great question and very important to discuss with patients.  Many patients worry about harmful radiation to the head and neck.  A regular CT scan, that you might receive in a hospital, for medical reasons can create a lot of radiation.  Younger patients in particular should only receive a CT scan of the head when absolutely necessary.  Cone beam CT is different.  The cone-shaped beam produces a very small amount of radiation compared to a medical CT.  Our CBCT would not provide enough data for some medical purposes, but it is perfect for dentistry!  CBCTs produce a very small amount of radiation: about the same as you would receive flying from Augusta to Los Angeles.  At After Orthodontics, we take your health and safety very seriously.  Different pictures provide different information.  We order as few x-rays as reasonably possible (as recommended by the American Dental Association).  Definitely ask an After Orthodontics team member if you have any questions about the x-rays being taken.